Quake-hit Haiti Looks to Textile Park for Jobs Boon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

(Reuters) – The U.S. and Haitian governments signed a deal on Tuesday with a South Korean garment manufacturer to develop an industrial park in quake-hit Haiti in one of the largest investment projects in the poor Caribbean country.

The project with South Korea’s Sae-A Trading Company Limited is also backed by the Inter-American Development Bank and intends to breathe new life into Haiti’s garment export industry and its shattered economy after a devastating earthquake a year ago.

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is still reeling from the January 12, 2010, disaster that killed up to a quarter of a million people.

Haiti’s government and its international aid partners have appealed for more private capital to help the country rebuild its aid-dependent economy.

The framework agreement signed in Port-au-Prince calls for the construction of an industrial park in northern Haiti and aims to appeal to textile manufacturers who could benefit from expanded duty-free access to the U.S. clothing market under increased American trade preferences for Haitian apparel.

Sae-A is expected to be an anchor tenant in the industrial park and employ as many as 20,000 people, becoming the largest private-sector employer in Haiti.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)